SRI LANKA

Sri Lankan president's denial over alleged execution by troops

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 March, 2013, 6:12am
AFP

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Sri Lanka's president has firmly denied that government troops executed the 12-year-old son of separatist chief Velupillai Prabhakaran in 2009.

Britain's Channel 4 released photos last week to publicise its new documentary, No Fire Zone - The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, alleging that soldiers had killed the slain Tamil Tiger chief's youngest son Balachandran.

But President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in an interview published yesterday, denied the allegation in the documentary, which was shown at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday.

"Had it happened, I would have known [it]. It is obvious that if somebody [from the armed forces] had done that, I must take responsibility. We completely deny it," the president told India's Hindu newspaper.

Sri Lanka claimed victory over the Tamil Tigers after the May 2009 killing of Prabhakaran and his top commanders.

The government in the past has maintained that Prabhakaran's family were killed in the fighting. However, the bodies of his wife and daughter have never been found.

In one photograph released by Channel 4, Balachandran, the youngest son of Prabhakaran, is seen eating a snack while sitting in a green sandbag bunker guarded by a soldier. A second image shows his bullet-riddled body.